Our History

Madison Township Schoolhouse - 1895 

Dedicated in 1904 and located in Forest City

Richard & Doris Johnson

 Pastor Charles Curtis began Calvary's AWANA Club program on November 1, 1964.  It started with only a boys club meeting.  In February 1965 the girls club was started.  Nadene Schlawin, Doris Johnson and Velma Jefson helped Pastor Curtis  by Co-Commanding the girls side of the club until 1969.  Richard & Doris Johnson became the  AWANA Commanders and served in that position 33 years until 2003.  Juern & Helen Akkermann have been our AWANA Commanders since 2003.                              

Calvary's AWANA Club has become one of the oldest in the state of Iowa.

History from 1970 - Now

Calvary's current building located on Best Street was built in 1972.  Pastor Eldon H. Pals was the pastor. The church was built at a cost of approximately $275,000.  A gift of Winnebago stock was given by John K. Hanson for the project worth about $25,000.   Construction began April 10, 1972 and the cornerstone was laid on October 15, 1972.  The first service in the new building was on  April 1, 1973.  The congregation met at the old church downtown and each person carried a songbook and walked to the new church.  A public open house and dedication was held September 2, 1973.  Members of that building committee were:  Lawrence Thompson, LeRoy Thompson, Bob Segerstrom, Lyle Jefson, Gordon Hall, Spence Abrams and Pastor Pals.

During Pastor Richard Houg's ministry from 1974 to 1978, the church called a minister of youth and music.  His name was Jerry Gortmaker.

The congregation added onto the building in 2015 by adding another set of doors to the front with a canopy and and pull-through drive and a storage room to the south hallway.  

Calvary Baptist Church Centennial

September 2-4, 1995

Calvary celebrated it's 100th year anniversary in September of 1995.  We  decorated a parade float for our town's annual parade and had some of our oldest and youngest ride on it.  The older members on the float were related to charter members of our church.  We had a special musical program on Saturday night and many former members participated.  Sunday was our "Old Fashioned Sunday".  Members were encouraged to dress for "1895".   Former Pastor, Dr. Richard Houg spoke for the Morning Service.  Sunday afternoon there were rides given in an Amish buggy, a Model T and a big wagon pulled by horses.   One Sunday School room was decorated for a "Walk through Time" - covering the 100 years of history. 

Calvary Baptist Church 

115th Anniversary

September 4-6, 2010

Calvary celebrated its 115th Anniversary over Labor Day weekend in 2010.  Saturday evening was a light picnic supper, an all-church musicale and ice cream social.  Former Pastor, Dr. Richard Houg spoke on Sunday morning.  A catered noon meal followed the Morning Service.  Former member, Pastor Steve Hill spoke in the Evening Service.  The weekend of celebration ended with a breakfast at 8:00 a.m. on Labor Day.


Calvary Baptist Church

125th Anniversary

September 5-7, 2020

(During COVID pandemic)

2020 was a year that presented some interesting challenges in ministry.  With the COVID epidemic going on, the decision had to be made whether or not to keep our celebration on schedule.  The decision was made to go ahead with it, but it was a very small group compared to past celebrations.  

Saturday night there was a wonderful concert with "Forever Be Sure" followed by a dessert fellowship.  Pastor Joshua Farrell was the speaker for the Sunday School hour on Sunday morning.  In our Morning Service, we were blessed by a Reunion Choir that included many former choir members.  Pastor Larry Johnson spoke in the Morning Service.  A catered noon meal followed the Morning Service.  Masks had to be worn for serving.  Pastor Steve Hill was the Evening speaker.  All 3 of our speakers for Sunday grew up attending our church and were saved and discipled here.  A Labor Day breakfast was held on Monday morning with Evangelist Timothy Silcott speaking.  He brought along one of his ventriloquism friends.  

Everyone, especially the adults, enjoyed it!

23 Pastors have served Calvary Baptist in 125 years:

1895-1901 Lyman Rugg

1901-1902  Ezra Temple

1902-1905 Ed Johnson

1905-1906 J.S. Kinsley

1908-1909 Charles Bryden

1910-1911 Stevenson Smith

1914-1918 A.L. McMillian

1918-1921 J.N. Howell

1921 E.B. Tarbox

1923-1927 L.R. Hall

1927-1934 M.S. Hanson

1935-1940 Clarence Sharer

1940-1949 Loyal Marx

1949-1958 Clair Saliers

1958-1963 Mel Stadt

1963-1969 Charles Curtis

1970-1974 Eldon Pals

1974-1978 Richard Houg

1979-1980 Grant Shattuck

1981-1983 Gerald Thurber

1984-1987 Douglas Domokos

1988-1990 Paul Heiniger

1991-Present Douglas W. Farrell